Finding Your Unique Voice

One of the hardest parts of being a writer is finding our voice. That unique quality to our writing that makes it distinctively ours.

Finding your voice is something that will come with practise. The more you write, the more you experiment with style, the easier it will become to identify your writing style and discover your voice.

But what is voice?

Voice refers to your style of writing. It’s the language you include, the patterns you use, the techniques you incorporate. Things like staccato sentences or similes and metaphors all work together to create your voice and style.

So, how can you find and develop your voice?

Do your research

I mean, really do your research.

The first step in finding your voice is discovering authors with a style like your own or one which you would like to be able to emulate. Find books in a similar genre or style to what you’re writing and analyse the heck out of it.

Read the first page and try doing the following:

  1. Read the page through once.

  2. Identify the tone and voice (is it dark, suspenseful, light, fun, witty, etc.).

  3. Count how many verbs they use.

  4. Count how many adverbs they use.

  5. Count how many adjectives they use. (If you’re not sure how to find this then you can type the passage into a generator like this one and analyse the text.)

  6. Identify influential word choices that draw you into the story.

  7. Identify their style (are the sentences short and snappy, are they long and poetic, etc.) and see if this links to the tone and voice.

Now, try to write your own passage in that author’s style and voice. You can carry on from when page one ends and write your own original piece of text to continue the story.

While you should never try to be a carbon copy of another writer, analysing the writing of successful authors can help you find your own style and understand what it is that makes their writing so impactful.

Prose example

City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty, adult fantasy

He was an easy mark.
Nahri smiled behind her veil, watching the two men bicker as they approached her stall. The younger one glanced anxiously down the alley while the older man—her client—sweated in the cool dawn air. Save for the men, the alley was empty; fajr had already been called and anyone devout enough for public prayer—not that there were many in her neighborhood—was already ensconced in the small mosque at the end of the street.
She fought a yawn. Nahri was not one for